When I first heard this album, I couldn't get The Clash's "Clash City Rockers" song to stop playing in the background of my head: "Clash, Clash, Clash City Rockers!" Again and again it would play. Again and again!
So when I went with those English-accented yelps on repeat bouncing about my head to interview the Portland, Ore. punk-rock quartet's lead singer/guitarist, Eric Gregory, I just HAD to ask, "What IS up? The Clash connection is sooooo obvious! And you play PUNK music!"
And he, so kind and mild-mannered, said, "Who in the HELL are The Clash? Our band name gives props to the legendary CCR! You know, 'Proud Mary'! 'Bad Moon Rising'! 'Born on the Bayou,' baby. That's what we're all about!"
And then I said ... Goddamn it Jenny! There you go again getting carried away! And no one is laughing. Now tell the nice readers about CCR's new album before they click away to never-never land.
And then I whined to my know-it-all conscience, "But, but, but! I just got done writing THREE different stories on them! And now my brain is tired ... raw punk ... like 1976 ... like Velvet Underground ... just like Lou Reed ... like New York City ... Johnny Thunders ... not anything like Creedence Clearwater Revival ... so tired."
OK. Seriously. Gregory was as open and honest with his answer as he is with his music. "'Course, we all know where it came from," he said. "I just liked the way it sounded." OK.
I don't think the Crack City Rockers are out to prove anything, shock anyone or be anybody's next favorite band. They know they're not creating anything we haven't all heard many times before, but they also know what they like late '70s New York City punk-rock sounds and street-poet-style songwriting and they wanna make more of it. And they're pretty darn good at it. Actually, DAMN good at it!
Now if I could just get that Clash song outta my head...